A job with MI5 means you’ll have a tangible impact on national security, helping to keep the country safe. So you might be surprised to learn just how accessible becoming an Intelligence Officer can be.

MI5 is responsible for keeping the country safe against threats to national security. So, as you might expect, the work can be complex.  Intelligence Officers are one of the most crucial roles, with a direct impact on the success of operations. MI5 look for people with different skills and perspectives, so they need people with a variety of degree subjects to bring a diverse range of experience. Therefore in reality, the job of an Intelligence Officer is open to a lot more people than you’d think.

Who will be successful on the Intelligence Officer Development Programme (IODP)?

The IODP is open to people with, or on track to achieve, a 2:2 degree in any discipline or have two or more years graduate-level permanent work experience. What’s more important to us than your degree is that you demonstrate the right skills and qualities for the Intelligence Officer role.

Our Intelligence Officers are from a range of backgrounds and walks of life, as there’s not a specific type of person that makes the perfect Intelligence Officer. In fact, the organisation recognises that different people have different insights that they bring with them – something that’s vital to our investigations.

What do Intelligence Officers actually do?

Intelligence Officers are at the centre of what we do. They may be working on investigations focusing on Counter Terrorism, Counter Espionage or Cyber Threats - where they pull together intelligence to review the activity and actions of subjects of interest. Our Intelligence Officers use their knowledge gained on the Development Programme to lead investigations. They’ll be responsible for forming assessments of the threat, setting strategies and making recommendations.

Ultimately, they directly impact on our ability to disrupt threats to national security, including preventing terror attacks. In fact, with their work and the support of partner agencies, we’ve helped to prevent 20 terror attacks since 2013. But we need more talented Intelligence Officers to help combat the growing number of threats we face.  

What else do you need to apply?

To apply to MI5, you do have to be a born or naturalised British citizen and have lived in the UK for nine of the last ten years. But there’s no specific ‘type’ of person that makes the perfect Intelligence Officer. What matters is that you’re collaborative, good with people, persuasive, have great written and verbal communication skills and know when to ask for help. Integrity is also important, and you’ll need to be able to work with ambiguity, as decisions will never be particularly straightforward.

If you’re interested in joining our Intelligence Officer Development Programme, click here.